For a teenager, the attraction of attending Halloween parties far outweighs staying home watching a scary movie or two. As a responsible, caring parent, it’s vital to have an open conversation with your teenager about managing expectations and their safety without the drama.
Below are some steps to take before your teen heads out the door to their next Halloween engagement.
Have a frank conversation.
Sit down with your teen and ensure both parties are clear about expectations and house rules. Discuss private property, town curfews and most importantly, alcohol regulations. Be upfront and warn them that police will be on patrol and on the lookout for anyone misbehaving.
Host the party for your teen and his peers.
Invite your teen’s friends around instead. This helps ensure they get to enjoy the night and removes the temptation of inflicting harm to other people’s property; avoiding accidents and potential prosecution.
Encourage your teen to avoid posting or texting incriminating evidence.
In the age of social media, no one is immune to making a mistake or three. Steer them away from incriminating themselves online. Halloween is a good time to remind them to keep their online profiles safe from anything suspect that could lead to hurting their reputation.
Recruit them for trick-or-treat duty.
Teens might be willing to scare up some fun during the night and offer treats to the little ghouls and goblins haunting your doorstep.
Set up camp at home for a scary movie marathon.
Grab a handful of fun size candy bars and a pile of frightening DVD’s for a Halloween scream-fest.
Encourage light coloured clothing and reflective wear.
While it might be en vogue to wear all black and hang out in the dark, it can encourage people to question what some teens are actually doing, even if it’s totally innocent.
Review driving safety.
Remind your teen that children are unpredictable and can come out of nowhere, especially while trick-or-treating. It can be hard to see costumed wee ones as they make their way across the neighbourhood roads. Avoid a tragic accident by reminding them to be on the lookout for hazards, always take care when backing up, and drive slowly down residential streets.
Limit the number of friends in a car and have a frank chat about smartphones.
Remove distractions for your teen driver and limit the number of kids allowed to ride along. While it’s a good idea to have a cell phone along for emergencies encourage your teen driver to turn it off (completely) while driving.
Look for local haunted attractions and activities.
Offer to drive and enjoy a night with your teen and their friends. There are a number of spooky Halloween Activities in Vancouver that can be really fun, check them out here.
At Murphy Battista LLP, teen drinking and parties, as well as parental liability have been widely discussed, you can refer to our teen drinking resources here.
Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!
*Note: This was originally published in October 2016 and has since been updated to include relevant news and events